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What is Pegasus Malware | NSO Group?

What is Pegasus Malware | NSO Group?

These days Pegasus has become a topic of discussion again in India. In which all political parties in India, whether it is Congress or TMC, or any other party, are all engaged in criticizing BJP.
A consortium of 17 media organizations like The Guardian, The Washington Post, and India’s The Wire said a phone-hacking malware Pegasus targeting their mobile phones. Although, they did not have any concrete proof to back their claim. 

Also, Israeli companies confirmed that they don’t sell their software to any individuals or any private sector, they sell it to only Government entities

In this response, the Government of India and Israeli company NSO refused to use Pegasus for beneficiary uses. Apart from this, Israel confirmed that Pegasus is used by 45 countries in the world. Then what is the benefit of targeting only India regarding this malware issue?

What is Pegasus Malware?

In Greek mythology, a flying horse is known as Pegasus. Israel’s company NSO Group has created this software. Malware means a kind of software that also acts as spying and tracking someone. Such malware is also known as Spyware. And the world’s most powerful malware is created by the Israeli company itself, which is named Pegasus.

Pegasus is developed by Israel to diffuse anti-national and terrorist activities in their country, and in the past years, they diffused many terrorist activities using this software.

This software works in both operating systems Android and IOS. . In which it takes the smallest information from the user’s phone and sends it to the company. Through this malware, the company can operate the phone on its own. In which recording, file sending and even calls can be made from the phone without the knowledge of the user. Even human fingerprints can also be scanned and stored through this malware. 

How does Pegasus work on Mobile phones?

This is designed to access information without user knowledge and store all the personal information and send the information to the company using this software. 

So far, two vector technology noticed in Pegasus software:

■ The one-click vector

■ The zero-click vector

In Pegasus, mobile phones are infected through spamming links, or just messages or emails, or missed calls. Pegasus is capable of exposing the complex details of the user’s mobile phone like Password, Contact list, Calendar event, Text messages, Live voice calls and etc. Even Pegasus can read encrypted audio streams and encrypted messages as well. 

A feature of this software is that if the external command is not received for such 60 days, then it becomes self-destructed. Due to which the user will not even realize that it is downloaded. NSO always confirms that it does not sell any individual bodies, it is used by government intelligence and law enforcement agencies to fight crime and terror. 

Pegasus uses the loophole of particular Mobile phones, and that loopholes are called zero-day vulnerabilities. And these loopholes are unable to investigate even by their developing companies as well. 

What is the issue of Pegasus?

Recently, some media houses exposed the government spying on their mobile phones. And many parties have repeatedly accused the central government. But the government made it clear that they have used this software to stop terrorist activities and make them a failure, and not in any wrong use.

According to The Washington Post and The Guardian, 50,000 people were tracked, of which 300 were Indians. In which, 40 Journalists, 3 Opposition parties leaders, 2 ministers, NGOs, Security organizations, and Social activists are involved. 

But it is to be understood that after having only 300 Indians, why did these newspapers target only India? Because in America too many people are being tracked through Pegasus, but American Newspaper has targeted only India.

 

How Pegasus came into the limelight?

Pegasus came to the world’s attention when some suspicious activities were recorded on the phone of an Arab activist Ahmed Mansoor. Along with this in 2016, WhatsApp also accused the company of stealing user data. Although Israeli companies confirmed that they don’t sell their software to any individuals or any private sector, they sell it to only Government entities. And so far Israel has given its Pegasus software to 45 countries. 

However, the government has the right to spy on any person. In which some such agencies of the government work:

1.  Intelligence Bureau
2.  Narcotics Control Bureau
3.  Enforcement Directorate
4.  Central Board of Direct Taxes.
5.  Directorate of Revenue Intelligence.
6.  Central Bureau of Investigation
7.  National Investigation Agency
8.  Cabinat Secretariat (RAW)
9.  Directorate of Signal Intelligence (For service areas of Jammu and Kashmir, North East and Assam only))
10. Commissioner of Police, Delhi

Although, people have to follow some procedure to track or spy on someone’s personal data in this case. But in case of Pegasus, there is no such procedures or direction required. 

First case of Pegasus in India?

Along with this, the case of Pegasus came to the limelight in India in 2019 when the news of an Indian activist’s phone was being tracked. In response to this, the Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy had said these lines. Section 69 of the Indian Information Technology act, 2000 allows central or state govt to access, monitor, or decrypt any information transmitted, received, or stored in any electronic device in the interest of the sovereignty or integrity of India. 

And, in 2021, Government of India also cleared that India is a democratic country which follows the Article 21 and 22 of Indian constitution. However, Pegasus has been operating for many years, which is only used to fail anti-national activities.

Recently, some news arrived the involvement of foreign conspiracy in destroying the sovereignty of Indian using the Pegasus issue.  In which the biggest name is Amnesty International, which was fired due to violation of laws and corruption in India. 

Also, the cost of spying through Pegasus is costly and the government will not waste its reserve on useless people. But Government will use this software on people involving in anti-national or terrorist activities. Because 45 countries involve in Pegasus but only India is targeted by big news outlets. 

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